Farm Days

Family Farm Days


Family Farm Days are events that encourage families to enjoy time on the farm together.  These events are provided free of charge when grants allow.  Past Family Farm Days have included: 

Insect & Art Community Day

UWL Entomologist and Artist Barrett Klein led a FREE afternoon of insects and art on the farm.  Participants searched for and identified insects in their natural environment and learned all about their behavior, anatomy, and role in the ecosystem. Barrett makes science fun and accessible for all ages!  After an insect walk, we talked more about pollinators, why insect numbers are declining world-wide, and discussed what we can do together to help preserve then.  We ended the day by painting yard signs to designate inscet-friendly habitats and participants received free native wildflower seeds to plant in their own yards. 


Fall Mushroom Walk on the Farm

Mushrooms pop up everywhere on the farm in the fall.  This community day focused on fungus. Sabrina Aspenson of UWL will led us on a trek through the woods and pastures to look for a number of different species of fungi, both edible and non-edible. Some common edible mushrooms in the fall months are hen of the woods, chicken of the woods, puffballs, oysters, and a variety of other species. Although finding mushrooms to fill the fridge is exciting, the non-edible mushrooms can tell a different story about the overall health of the area. One of those species is Trametes elegans, which is endemic to southern states. However, in the past couple years this species has been found in the area indicating that climate change can be tracked through mushroom distributions.

Sabrina's graduate research is focused on the 1,300 species that we have documented in the Driftless region. Collections have been ongoing for 20 years and around 400 people have contributed to this research including three professional forays. Currently the goal is to sequence their DNA and see how glaciation has affected the speciation of fungi found in the Driftless. Preliminary data suggests that we have unusual distributions of fungi and this area is very unique in how it was formed.


Plant Drawing and Nature Journaling on the Farm
Laurie Stiers of HerbsAllAround led this family-friendly class focused on drawing plants and nature journaling. Laurie has a wealth of information about botany and common uses of plants. Her artistic method encourages us slow down and pay attention to world around us. She teachers the simple yet incredibly useful skill of observation in the natural world, which is is the basis of the scientific method. This process connects us more deeply to the world around us. Our hope is that you will love the process and start a nature journal that you will return to throughout the seasons!

Thank you to the La Crosse Community Foundation for making these classes possible and free of charge for participants.